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Riverside family grieves 8-year-old boy killed in crash; residents call for more safety measures

Riverside memorial for 8-year-old boy killed in violent head-on crash continues to grow
Riverside memorial for 8-year-old boy killed in violent head-on crash continues to grow 02:55

It's with deep sadness that loved ones visit a memorial for a little boy that was killed in a head-on crash last week. On Monday, they left flowers and a balloon commemorating what would have been his ninth birthday.

"We care and we're still celebrating his life even though he isn't here anymore," said a family friend. 

The crash happened around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday on Arlington Avenue when a 22-year-old driver veered onto the wrong side of the road, according to the Riverside Police Department. Investigators said he then struck a gray sedan carrying 8-year-old Obed Barbosa-Carbajal and his three siblings. They were on the way to school.

The violent collision mangled both cars and ejected Barbosa-Carbajal from the car. 

Barbosa-Carbajal's siblings all remain in the hospital. For nearly a week, Barbosa-Carbajal's mother has bounced between the memorial and the hospital to check in on her three children, 25-year-old Kially, 16-year-old Mario and 10-year-old Kiara. A family friend created an online fundraiser to help cover the cost of surgeries for critical spine and brain injuries they survived. 

So far, they've raised $27,000 and family friends are hoping the community continues to rally around this grieving family. 

"My heart goes out to the family," said a family friend. "To the whole situation and I continue to pray that the rest of the family has a quick recovery and is able to heal physically and emotionally from this traumatic experience."

The driver who crashed into the family is still in the hospital as well, according to the Riverside Police Department. Investigators are still trying to determine if drugs, alcohol and speed factored into the collision. 

While a stop light is slated to be installed at this intersection, neighbors argue that more needs to be done after three violent crashes happened in the area — all within a month. 

There is a town hall meeting scheduled for May 30 at 6 p.m. at the La Sierra Senior Center in Riverside. Community members are expected to push for safer streets in the neighborhood. 

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